BBAW: Blogger Interview Swap

One of the highlights of Book Blogger Appreciation Week is the Blogger Interview Swap.  I signed up this year, and was paired up with another blogger to ask some questions to.  All the interviews are posted today, and you can see mine over at my interview partner’s blog.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to MJ who blogs at Wandering in the Stacks. MJ is a recent law school graduate “who still, somehow, loves to read.” MJ has only been blogging since July, and now blogs most days. Looking at her reading list, it’s full of interesting books and authors – from George Eliot to Tolstoy, Carson McCullers to Truman Capote.  Here is what I asked her …

As a new blogger, what has excited you most about blogging since you started?

Oh, so many things! The community in general had to be my favorite, though. I love that there are so many people who love to read, and love to share their thoughts. I also love finding bloggers whose tastes are similar to mine – they become a great resource for books and authors I haven’t discovered.

How big is your TBR (to be read) pile and do you have strategies for managing it? If so, I could do with some help!

Ha! I don’t think I would be much help managing a TBR pile. My actual physical pile isn’t that bad. I typically have out a couple library books, and there are several recently bought books on it. Of course, I also have a backlog of books that I acquired somehow, at some point, and I haven’t read, but I don’t count those as official TBR. They’re more like books I’ll probably get to someday. My TBR list on the other hand, is much too long. I finally started a list on GoodReads, but there are countless more books floating around my head that haven’t been written down yet.

Are you a fast or slow reader – how many books do you read in an average month? Is this a reflection on the time you have available to read?

I am a fast reader. This year is the first time I’ve kept track of how many books I’m reading. In January I only read four, but I really struggled with two of those, so that slowed me down significantly. I very rarely abandon a book, so I was slogging along. Last month, August, I read 14. The number depends both on how much time I have, and if I have any books on hand that I’m excited about reading.

Which literary character would you most like to be, and why?

Oh, good question. I think I’d like to be like Leah from The Poisonwood Bible. I admire her ability to flout what society thinks and follow her heart. Plus, she manages to get through several trying situations a stronger person. She knows how to manage her resources to survive.

Where do you write your blog? Describe your blogging environment.

I write on my laptop, at the kitchen table. There’s a window to my left, and I can see some trees, my fire escape, and the Verrazano Bridge. I’m usually surrounded by books – ones I’m reviewing, ones I’m going to read next. Right now that pile is a little higher than I’d like! I’m moving soon, though, the so view outside my window will change, but much of the rest will stay the same.

Thank you MJ. It was a pleasure to ask the questions, and I enjoyed your answers. I shall look forward to seeing your blog develop, and hope you continue to love it. Happy reading and keep on blogging!

Book Blogger Appreciation Week – ‘Community’

Welcome to Book Blogger Appreciation Week! All through the week, there are daily topics for posts on participants’ blogs. I probably won’t have time to join in all of them, but will at least today and tomorrow.

The first topic is ‘Community’ – in particular to celebrate the blogs and bloggers that got us blogging in the first place …

Gaskella’s First Ever Commenter …

When I started my blog back in September 2008, I had been lurking around lit blog land for a while, and plucked up the courage to start making a few comments before launching my own blog.   When I got around to it, my very first commenter was a blogger who was one of the first I discovered, and still read every post on today. It took just five days of blogging to get that comment – and it was on a Guilty Secrets post in which I confessed to never having read Thomas Hardy.

That commenter was Teresa, and her blog is the wonderful Shelf Love which she co-writes with the equally lovely Jenny. Between them, they read and discuss such a wide range of books of all types and genres, and Teresa’s Sunday Salon discussion posts are an absolute must – she always makes me really think with these. Recent subjects have included the use of coincidence in novels, depth versus breadth in reading genres, and who can tell a story? You can rely on Teresa for intelligent reviews and lively discussions. I love that we read many of the same titles and types of books. Living on opposite sides of the pond, we’ve never met, but I feel that we would definitely be friends.  Thank you Teresa – and good luck in the BBAW Awards (Shelf Love is shortlisted in 2 categories).

A blog that always cheers me up & tugs at my heartstrings …

Another blog that I never fail to read is the wonderfulThe Age of Uncertainty written by Steerforth, who is currently setting up business as a book dealer. Steerforth primarily writes about bookish and ephemeral things – Victorian book illustrations, old photos that fall out of books, silly, interesting, and non-PC book covers and titles. Interspersed with these posts are Steerforth’s more meditative ones in which he looks at the world in which he lives and comments with a dry sense of humour. Even more eloquent are his occasional heartfelt posts about his own life and family.  His blog never fails to either cheer me up or tug at my heartstrings – do visit.